Boosting patient satisfaction & outcomes through face-to-face counseling: Q&A with Hospital for Special Surgery's Dr. Amar Ranawat

Anuja Vaidya -   Print  |

As reimbursement becomes increasingly tied to patient outcomes and satisfaction, healthcare organizations are exploring ways to improve the patient experience and education.

A recent study at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York found patients benefited from one-on-one education sessions and access to an informational web portal before undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery. Researchers studied 126 patients who underwent knee or hip replacement for osteoarthritis. They were randomized into two separate groups. One group included 63 patients, each of whom attended a one-on-one education session with a physical therapist in addition to a group class. They were also given access to a web portal with additional information. The control group attended a group class and then received a booklet.

Around 70 percent of patients from the control group believed they could have benefited from additional education before surgery. Also, patients who received one-on-one counseling needed fewer physical therapy sessions in the hospital before discharge.


In January 2016, HSS implemented a new education program that included one-on-one counseling and informational web portal access for hip and knee replacement patients.


Here Amar Ranawat, MD, a hip and knee surgeon at HSS, discusses the study and the education program.


Question: How has the program affected joint replacement patient experience?


AR: Many of the patients who participated in the study attributed the one-on-one program to successfully helping them prepare for recovery after surgery. This type of interaction with a physical therapist allowed patients to really focus on their own personal goals and expectations following surgery. One patient even said that the easy access to the informative videos was empowering and provided a boost of confidence to successfully recover following surgery.  


Question: Why are the findings of the study important?


AR: Study design and intervention was unique in the sense that the study was focused on educating patients about surgical recovery processes in a one-on-one setting as opposed to group class only. The study also had an additional web component that had similar content as taught in the one-on-one session, which patients could see at a later time in case they needed to review any of the content.


Patients felt better prepared for surgery as well as for leaving the hospital after surgery with this intervention as compared to class only.


Question: What were some challenges you faced while implementing the program? How did you overcome them?


AR: Recruiting patients was challenging as they had to be recruited and seen for intervention, if chosen in that group, on the day of pre-surgical screening which is a very lengthy and busy day. We approached a lot of people and being a high volume surgical hospital, we were able to recruit patients within a period of eight months.


Question: Why is patient experience so important?


AR: Patient experience has always been very important to Hospital for Special Surgery. HSS has achieved the 99th percentile rank for "likelihood to recommend" for 28 consecutive quarters when benchmarked against the high-performing Magnet peer group. Also, third party payers and Medicare are putting more emphasis on patient experience and patient-reported outcomes.


More articles on orthopedics:
Hospitals say they're unprepared for CMS' CJR model — 5 things to know
Dr. Martin Redish joins Parkridge Medical Group — 4 quick notes
Dr. Felix Savoie named new president of Louisiana Orthopaedic Association: 5 things to know

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